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2.4: Relative Frequency Distribution

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Relative Frequency Distribution

2.4: Relative Frequency Distribution

A relative frequency distribution is the proportion or fraction of times a value occurs in a data set. To find the relative frequencies, one can divide each frequency by the total number of data points in the sample. It is very similar to a regular frequency distribution, except that instead of reporting how many data values fall in a class, a relative frequency distribution reports the fraction of data values that fall in a class. These fractions or proportions are called relative frequencies and can be given as fractions, decimals, or percents.

Admittedly, there is not much difference in constructing a relative frequency distribution from constructing a regular frequency distribution. The starting process is the same, and the same guidelines must be used when creating classes for the data. The only key difference between a frequency distribution graph and a relative frequency distribution graph is that the vertical (y-axis) axis uses proportional or relative frequency rather than simple frequency.

Relative frequency distributions are often displayed in frequency polygons and in histograms.


Relative Frequency Distribution Proportion Fraction Value Data Set Frequency Total Number Sample Regular Frequency Distribution Class Data Values Fractions Proportions Decimals Percents Constructing Guidelines Classes Process Graph Vertical Axis Proportional Frequency Frequency Polygon Histogram

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